Hello folks who know we are still in the pandemic season because you observe more birders than the birds at any birding spot,

Who doesn't want to impress people who might have a significant influence in our life? We pretend to like all of our friend's Instagram posts so that they return the favor. We pretend to give a sh*t at work because we do not want the boss to fire us so we can keep ordering trivial things from Amazon. We pretend to enjoy being in the presence of our peers because we want their approval and do not want to be considered a pariah. 

Of the above-mentioned social situations, nothing is more prominent as the change of our behavior at work with and without the presence of the boss.


On a recent kayaking trip in the Alviso slough (No, not this one), I spotted a shorebird that finished in the last place during the biggest shorebird competition. Or the 1st prize in the smallest shorebird competition depending on where you get your news from. A bunch of least sandpipers appeared to be "foraging"(air quotes implied) along the water's edge. Watching them hit the mud with their beaks is reminiscent of the mindless typing one would do to impress their boss. 


Now you mean to tell me this random woodpecker style pecking at the mud helps them find their food. I mean what's next, you are telling me that the earth is round. #flatearth4lyfe


Turns out, people who don't have a Netflix account and other social distractions in their life, they have a term for that. What was it, I just had it at the tip of my tongue right now..aaa.... Oh yes, researchers. Researchers found that these sandpipers will constantly probe in the mud to scare the insects and other invertebrates from their hiding place. Their bills can then detect if the victim moved from place A to place B between each probing attempt and then triangulate their position to go in for the kill. Like sonar that bats use but for mud. This constant probing by a predator the size of a T-Rex can make anyone run for their life. Even the bravest of invertebrates.

Think of it this way, if you were watching one of those Jurassic Park movies, you know the first one to abandon their hiding spot is eventually going to end up in the belly of the T-Rex.


But I had to do my due diligence to find out if this probing was a facade and whether they were just eating at a Taco Bell drive-thru when people were not simply watching them, or they were actually successful in catching something. And then, I found my answer. You win this round you little munchkin, but I will be watching you. (*squints)


Another shy creature that shows up in the Alviso slough and can be often seen when kayaking is the Harbor Seal who likes to visit the South Bay to get some respite from paying $20 for an Avocado toast in the city.

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